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The American Library Association has celebrated National Library Week every year since 1958, and this year Book Riot wanted to take the opportunity to spend a week talking about what libraries mean to us, how to get the most out of your public library, and why libraries deserve your patronage and support (we’re also giving away a Kindle so you can read digital loans from your library, NDB).
The theme of this year’s NLW is “Libraries Lead,” and the chair is (amazing, talented, beautiful) ballerina Misty Copeland, the first African American woman ever named principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre.
Americans are library users. 46% of adults report visiting public libraries or bookmobiles, with millennials being the generation most likely to have done so (53%, as opposed to 45% of Gen Xers or 43% of Baby Boomers). This feels especially important—younger adults realize the value of libraries, and will continue to use them. However, only 8% of millennials, 9% of Gen Xers and 9% of Baby Boomers use library apps—if getting to the library is an obstacle for you, see if they have an app you can use for digital loans! There’s even a Chrome extension that will tell you if your local library has a book that you’re looking up on Amazon.
Libraries aren’t just a place to find free books. They’re increasingly community gathering spaces, resources for digital education and useful classes, places to borrow everything from tools to cooking utensils, spaces for concerts and readings, and more. They’re spaces where marginalized readers can come to find acceptance and books that reflect their experience. They can be life-saving. As we evolve culturally, so do our libraries, in order to best serve communities.
So, go to your library. Get a library card. And stay tuned around here this week for some real library love (and watch our YouTube channel where we’ll also be chatting all things libraries).